Nasarawa: Sasakawa Introduces Rice Farmers To Harvest Technologies

Mohammed Shosanya

Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA),an international NGO,has introduced rice farmers in Nasarawa State to cost- effective harvest technologies to reduce post-harvest losses.

Dr.Godwin Atser, Country Director of SAA, stated this at the “Brown” field day organised at weekend for farmers in Lafia, and Doma Local Government Areas of state.

He explained that the training of the farmers on the mechanised harvest system is part of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Policy and Human Resource Development Grant (PHRDG 1) being implemented by SAA in Nigeria and Benin Republic.

The country director,who was represented by the Mr Idris Garko, Coordinator of the PHRDG 1 in the state, said that having trained the farmers to improve their rice yield using technology and best agronomic practices, it became imperative to introduce them to mechanised harvest method that would help to reduce post-harvest losses.

According to him, studies have shown that rice farmers in Nigeria incur between 10 per cent to 35 per cent post-harvest losses using the traditional method of harvesting.

He, however, explained that with the use of simple machines like motorised reaper and thresher, such losses would be drastically reduced.

He added that the technologies would save the farmers cost in terms of labour and time, and ensure they got quality rice grains from farms for marketing.

He noted that although the machines are expensive and not readily available, SSA had identified indigenous innovative fabricators that could produce effective local versions of the imported machines and link up farmers to them.

“As part of this project, we recently brought these fabricators together in Lafia to interface and see how they could produce these machines and the outcomes of that engagement was quite impressive.

“We also link up the fabricators to dealers in spare parts for the machines to ensure easy assess,” he said.

He said that the farmer were encouraged to form cooperatives where they could pull resources together to acquire the machines since they might be too expensive to acquire individually.

“As a group, the machines would also become a source of income for them. Apart from using it in their farms, they could generate revenue from it by using it for other farmers outside the group and be paid,” he said.

He further explained that the technical team of SAA would be on ground within the next two years to guide the farmers on the operations and routine maintenance of the machines.

Some of the farmers,commended SSA for the intervention and expressed commitment towards acquiring the machines.

Mr Yusuf Kuje, a rice farmer in Alagye in Doma, said that the effectiveness of the machines in harvesting and threshing was unbelievable.

“You can see that a plot of rice farm that could take 10 persons almost an hour to harvest using the manual traditional method was done in just about 10 minutes with the use of the motorised reaper machine.

“The thresher is another interesting machine that saves more time and energy that would have been dissipated in beating the rice. It threshes the dried rice and the grain come out very clean.

“I will work closely with other farmers in my community to leverage the opportunity provided by Sasakawa to link us with the fabricators in order to get our own machines, ” he added.

Besides,Mr Abdullah Otsonu, a rice farmer in Assakio, Lafia, said that given the effectiveness of the machines, rice production would become more exciting and interesting to the teeming youths in the community.

Ekiti,Cavista Holdings Sign Pact On Improved Cassava Farming

Mohammed Shosanya

Governor Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State,says his administration will soon establish a state-of-the-art cassava farm spanning 100,000 hectares within the state.

The governor signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a leading Nigerian investment company – Cavista Holdings (owners of Agbeyewa Farms Limited)

The MOU,which is worth billions of naira was signed by Governor Oyebanji and the Chairman of Cavista Holdings, Niyi John Olajide on the sidelines of the 2024 US-Africa Business Summit currently ongoing in Dallas, USA.

Present at the signing ceremony were the Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Adeoye Aribasoye; Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr Ebenezer Boluwade; Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Tayo Adeola; Commissioner for Finance, Mr Akin Oyebode; and Commissioner for Budget, Planning and Performance Management, Mr Niyi Adebayo.

On the Cavista Team were the company’s Managing Director, Mr. Dele Odufuye, Chief Financial Officer, Mr Niran Olajide, Dr. Niyi Arije (Legal Director) Mr. Cyril Akika (Member of the Board of Directors) and senior management staff of the company.

Also present were Chief Dele Kelvin Oye, President of the Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), who is also the Vice Chairman, Ekiti State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (EKDIPA); Chairman, Odu’a Investment Company, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru as well as other key stakeholders from the public and private sectors.

Governor Oyebanji articulated the government’s vision for agricultural advancement, emphasizing the importance of strategic partnerships in driving progress. He underscored Ekiti State’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for investment and urged other investors to explore the vast opportunities available in the state, particularly in sectors such as tourism, mining, and the burgeoning Ekiti Knowledge Zone and Special Agriculture Processing Zone.

He described the MOU as a testament of his administration’s commitment to the continuity of programmes of the immediate past administration of Dr Kayode Fayemi as enunciated in the State’s 30- year development plan. “This also speaks to alignment of vision. John ( Olajide) wants to create jobs. We want our people to prosper by creating opportunities for them. So, we found a good partner in John and the CAVISTA group”,he said.

He expressed gratitude to Cavista for its unwavering commitment to Ekiti State, which has led to several success stories in the Tourism and the Agriculture sectors, bringing about jobs opportunities and income to the state.

“The private sector is very critical to developing our economy, and as a government we must ensure that the process of doing business is easy, seamless and top-notch. I am very proud that Cavista has continued to demonstrate confidence in our state, and all their investments are now success stories. So I look forward to the successful implementation of this MOU to the benefit of Ekiti State and Nigeria”.

Chairman of Cavista Holdings,Niyi John Olajide stated that the company had no regrets investing in Ekiti, adding that its commitment is driven by his desire to create thousands of jobs for the people of the state.

“The success of our investment in Ikogosi Warm Springs Resort and our previous agricultural investment in the state, is what encouraged us to embark on this new cassava revolution initiative, to be driven by our subsidiary – Agbeyewa Farms. We are very proud of our partnership with the state and driven by my personal goal to create thousands of jobs in the state, we look forward to another successful partnership with the Ekiti State government under the distinguished leadership of Governor Abiodun Oyebanji”. He said.

Nigeria’s Food Crisis Needs Immediate Humanitarian,Social Protection, NESG Says

Mohammed Shosanya
The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG),says the current food crisis in Nigeria requires immediate humanitarian, social protection, and food systems responses to address.
The NESG has recently issued a policy brief entitled “Status of Food Security: Dimensioning the Crisis, Policy Options, and Strategic Responses.”
The brief outlines urgent measures to address the current food crisis in Nigeria, aiming to develop a comprehensive approach to alleviate hunger and offer practical solutions.
The NESG quoted the statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics(NBS) which reveals that “In January 2024, Nigeria’s food inflation surged to 35.41% from 33.9% in December 2023.
“The number of food-insecure Nigerians increased significantly, from 66.2 million in Q1 2023 to 100 million in Q1 2024 (World Food Programme, 2024), with 18.6 million facing acute hunger and 43.7 million Nigerians showing crisis-level or above crisis-level hunger coping strategies as of March 2024.”
A statement issued on Thursday by Ayanyinka Ayanlowo, Acting Head, Strategic Communications and Advocacy, NESG, explained that the unprecedented food crisis demands immediate humanitarian, social protection, and food systems responses.
It noted that:”Despite a contraction in the Nigerian Agriculture Sector in 2023, resulting in reduced productivity, the nation is fortunate to face no climatic risks of famine or drought, as no part of Nigeria is categorised as High Risk or Moderate Risk and Deteriorating.”
It stated that the National Food Systems Profile reveals critical institutional, policy and industrial coordination and governance gaps.
“This reflects a fundamental and systemic challenge with National Food Systems vulnerabilities, which is not a new insight.
“NESG and other national stakeholders under the then Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning supported the National Food Systems Assessment with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development, and the European Union in 2022.”
“In the final report, “Food Systems Profile-Nigeria: Catalysing the Sustainable and Inclusive Transformation of Food Systems,” the key findings showed that Nigeria needed to apply urgency, tenacity, and a national state of emergency in dealing with the following: Persistent Structural Vulnerabilities and Continuing socio-economic vulnerabilities persist, with 133 million people experiencing extreme multidimensional poverty, characterised by significant regional disparities.”
CBN Clears Air On Fertilisers Donation To Agric Ministry

Mohammed Shosanya

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says its fertilisers donation to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security,last week,does not represent a resumption direct interventions in the real sectors of the economy.

The apex bank donated 2. 15 million tonnes of assorted fertilisers, worth over N 100 billion to the ministry last week.

The CBN explained that the donated fertilisers were the remnants of its stock, which were blended under its previous interventions in the agricultural sector.

According to the bank,the decision was aimed at supporting domestic agricultural production rather than allowing the fertilizers to remain unused and go to waste.

The bank added that the fertilisers were released to the ministry which deals directly with farmers because as the Governor has said at many fora, “CBN is realigning its focus towards its core mandate of ensuring monetary and price stability,thus stopping its direct involvement in development finance interventions.”

The CBN has, however, promised to support relevant organisations that possess the expertise and capacity to intervene directly.

The CBN made the decision to donate the fertilisers to Nigerian farmers through the ministry which possesses the institutional knowledge and infrastructure to effectively distribute the fertilizers to the last mile.

“This partnership is aimed at supporting the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security’s efforts to enhance food productivity and security, ultimately curbing food inflation and reinforcing the CBN’s pursuit of price stability,” the bank said.

The bank has recommended that the ministry which possesses the requisite expertise and capacity in these matters be responsible for ensuring the fertilisers reach the farmers in the most efficient and effective manner.

CBN Gives N100bn Fertilizer To Boost Food Production

Mohammed Shosanya

Mr. Olayemi Cardoso,Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),has given 2.15million bags of fertilizer worth over N100billion to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security(FMAFS) for distribution to Nigerian farmers in a bid to boost food production and reduce the high cost of food items in the markets.

Cardoso,who disclosed this on Wednesday at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in Abuja, said the gesture was aimed at amplifying food production and fostering price stabilisation within the agricultural sector.

According to him,food prices are a crucial component of inflation, especially considering that a substantial portion of household expenditure in Nigeria is allocated towards food and non-alcoholic beverages.

He said: “It is with great honour and enthusiasm that I stand before you today to address a matter of paramount importance that not only aligns with the core objectives of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Ministry of
Agriculture and Food Security but also resonates deeply with the livelihoods of all Nigerians – the escalating cost of food.

“As we are all well aware, Hon. Minister, the Central Bank of Nigeria significantly emphasises maintaining price stability as one of its primary mandates.

“Food prices are a crucial component of inflation, especially considering that a substantial portion of household expenditure in Nigeria is allocated towards food and non-alcoholic beverages.

“This reinforces the critical need to address food inflation as a pivotal aspect of managing overall headline inflation rates.

“While the CBN has been implementing comprehensive measures to curb inflation, it is evident that in the short term, inflationary pressures may persist, predominantly driven by escalating food prices.

“This is precisely why we convene today – to strengthen our collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture to mitigate the surge in food prices.

“In alignment with our strategic shift towards focusing on our fundamental mandate, the CBN has veered away from direct quasi-fiscal interventions and transitioned towards leveraging conventional monetary policy tools for executing monetary policies effectively.

“In this light,we aim to extend our support and foster closer ties with Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) with the mandate and expertise to undertake these critical initiatives.

“Consequently, we aim to enhance our partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, bolstering your endeavours to enhance food productivity and security, ultimately curbing food inflation and fortifying our pursuit of price stability.

“In pursuit of these shared goals, we are delighted to announce the allocation of 2.15 million bags of fertiliser, valued at over 100 billion naira, which we humbly hand over to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

“This contribution from the Central Bank aims to amplify food production capabilities and foster price stabilization within the agricultural sector.

“My team and I reiterate our unwavering commitment to prioritising price stability and instilling confidence in the Nigerian economy by upholding consumer price stability and ensuring a balanced foreign exchange market.

Senator Abubakar Kyari, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, thanked the governor of CBN for the provision of 2.15million assorted fertiliser.

He assured that the fertilizer would be judiciously distributed and used for the cultivation of food items in the country.

He expressed optimism that the gesture from the CBN would arrest galloping food inflation, adding that Nigeria has had very challenging period in the last eight months.

Kyari emphasized the need for all -year- round farming, adding that the Federal Government provides 50 percent subsidy on fertiliser to farmers.

He explained that through the Presidential directive, that farmers are further supported with 75percent subsidy on fertiliser, noting that seeds, herbicides and insecticides are given to farmers free of charge.

The minister,who expressed optimism that the gesture from the CBN would go a long way during the dry and wet season farming in the country,disclosed that dry season wheat farming which was flagged-off in Jigawa State by the Federal Government in collaboration with the State in November 2023, would be harvested soon.

He further revealed that wheat farming would be scaled up from the present 120,000 hectares to 250,000 hectares by next year, with the support from the African Development Bank(AfDB).

In his remarks, Senator Abubakar Bagudu, Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, said the provision of the fertiliser would go a long way to reduce the prices of food items in the markets.

SAfER:Oyo Farmers To Get Additional N340.2m

Mohammed Shosanya

The Oyo state government has said it will commence disbursement of N 340. 270 million to eligible crop farmers across the seven zones of the state as from Friday, February 9, 2024.

This is in addition to a sum of N416.850m recently disbursed to 1,407 farmers across the state in the third batch of the programme.

The state government had provided a sum of N1billion under the
Sustainable Action for Economic Recovery ( SAfER) initiative of the state government to support farmers in the state to cushion the effects of subsidy removal by the federal government.

Addressing newsmen on the progress of the SAfER programme at the Press Centre of the Governor’s Office on Thursday, the Chairman, Agric Credit Corporation of Oyo State,(ACCOS), Sheikh Taofeek Akeugbagold, explained that project has been non-partisan as it is available for the generality of legitimate farmers and would-be farmers of the state including the youths that were trained by the State Government under the YEAP programme.

He said, in view of the present economic hardship being experienced by the citizenry of the state, the Corporation has been given a marching order to better the lots of the peasants most importantly in the area of agriculture.

He gave a breakdown of the how funds were disbursed with reference to the categorization of the state into seven(7) major zones.

According to him, in Ibadan Zone I which is supervised by the Bank of Agriculture, Ibadan, a total number 547 beneficiaries have been disbursed with a sum of N156.75Om, while Ibadan Zone II undertaken by Onibuore Microfinance Bank has disbursed the sum of N118.950m to 401 beneficiaries.

“However, in Oyo Zone undertaken by the Bank of Agriculture, Oyo, a total number of 171 beneficiaries have collected the sum of N50,700m while Ogbomoso Zone handled by Randalpha Microfinance Bank disbursed the sum of N29.250m to 84 beneficiaries.

“Also Oke Ogun Zone 1 handled by Ifedapo Microfinance Bank, Saki, disbursed a total sum of N26.230m to 79 beneficiaries while Oke Ogun Zone 2 supervised by Bank of Agriculture Iseyin disbursed the sum of N30.800m to 110 beneficiaries and Ibarapa Zone undertaken by Igboora Microfinance Bank disbursed the sum of N4.050m to 15 beneficiaries.”

“This makes the total sum of N416.85Om disbursed to 1,407 farmers,” he said.

Besides, Akeugbagold also gave the breakdown of how funds for the 4th batch will be disbursed across the various zones as from tomorrow Friday 9th February, 2024 as follows:

“Ibadan I :To be undertaken by Bank of Agriculture, Ibadan.75.950m for 269 beneficiaries.Ibadan II: Represented by Onibuore
Microfinance Bank ,N132.250m for 474 beneficiaries.”

“Oyo: Bank of Agriculture, Oyo N24.50m for 87 beneficiaries.Oke-Ogun I:Ifedapo beneficiaries
Microfinance ,N 26.270 m for 93 beneficiaries.

“Oke-Ogun II:Bank of Agriculture, Iseyin. N13.450m for 53 beneficiaries.Ogbomoso: Randalpha Microfinance Bank N44.200m for 159 beneficiaries.Ibarapa: lgboora Microfinance Bank N23.650m for 92 beneficiaries.”

Assuring that real farmers that missed out from all the batches that have been previously considered will be taken care of once the payment is coming forth, he also implored fresh graduates who are interested in agricultural practices to approach the corporation to access fund.

He admonished all the beneficiaries to complement the effort of the government by being faithful with the funds they obtained and to reciprocate the kind gesture of the government by paying back the fund by the due date such that others could benefit from it as a revolving fund.

Nigeria Okays Commercial Release Of GM Maize Varieties

Mohammed Shosanya

The Federal Government,has approved the commercial release of transgenic insect resistant and drought tolerant maize varieties, known as TELA maize.

The approval was granted by the National Committee on Naming, Registration and Release of Crop Varieties, Livestock breeds/Fisheries (NCNRRCVLF) headed by Prof Olusoji Olufajo at its 37th meeting at the National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), Ibadan on Thursday.

A statement on Friday explained that the four varieties approved by the NVRC are, SAMMAZ 72T, SAMMAZ 73T, SAMMAZ 74T, and SAMMAZ 75T.

The new maize varieties are drought tolerant and are resistant to stem-borer and fall armyworm resulting in yield advantage of up to 10 tonnes per hectare under good agronomic practices.

The national average for similar hybrids is 6 tonnes per hectare. The varieties are suitable for Rain Forest, Guinea, and Sudan Savannas.

Stem-borer reduces maize production in several countries in Africa, while fall armyworm can destroy up to 20 million metric tons of maize in Africa each year, enough to feed 100 million people.

The release and registration of the four varieties followed environmental release approval in October 2021 granted by the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA).

Development of the improved varieties was led by the Institute for Agricultural
Research (IAR) Samaru, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria through the TELA Maize Public-Private Partnership coordinated by AATF.

The TELA Maize Project is currently being implemented in 5 countries – Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, and South Africa.

Prof Ado Yusuf, Executive Director, IAR expressed satisfaction with the release of the new four maize varieties saying, “IAR is very proud of our scientists who are addressing the maize productivity challenges in the country and beyond.

“These varieties have undergone thorough research and have been developed using the tools of biotechnology over several years of continuous testing and revalidation.”

Dr Canisius Kanangire,Executive Director of African Agricultural Technology Foundation(AATF) said, “the release of TELA Maize in Nigeria will contribute to food and nutrition security in line with the Federal Government’s Agricultural Transformation agenda.

“AATF reaffirms unwavering commitment to addressing challenges faced by farmers across the continent.”

Professor Garba Sharubutu, the Executive Secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), said the approval of the TELA Maize variety in Nigeria is a critical milestone that confirms the potential of biotechnology in ensuring food and nutrition security, and improved livelihood of farming households in Africa.

Prof. Mustapha Abdullahi, Director-General, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) celebrated the release saying that, with the advent of TELA Maize, farmers will reduce the use of pesticides on maize to the bare minimum which is beneficial to humans, livestock, and environment.

Dr Sylvester Oikeh, the TELA Maize Project Manager celebrated the decision by Nigeria by calling on other countries in Africa to act for farmers.

“I am encouraged by this decision by the Federal Government of Nigeria that reflects their commitment to the needs of farmers.

“I congratulate the scientists for their hard work and dedication that has seen the product getting closer to farmers and look forward to other countries making similar decisions for the good of the farmer,” he said.

How Oyo Farmers Will Access N1bn Loan-Akeugbagold

 

Mohammed Shosanya

 

 

The Chairman, Oyo State Agricultural Credit Corporation of Oyo State, (ACCOS), Sheik Taofik Akeugbagold, has listed the criteria being used to disburse the One Billion Naira loan to farmers to ensure geographical spread.

 

Akeugbagold disclosed this during a sensitization tour to the 7 geopolitical zones in the State which ended on Tuesday.

 

He also said to access the N1b single digit interest loan under the Sustainable Action for Economic Recovery (SAfER) sub-committee, an applicant must be a duly recognized farmer.

 

Speaking further on the criteria for the disbursement at Oke Ogun Zone 1, Iseyin area, Sheik Akeugbagold, revealed that the reason for the tour was to interact and identify genuine farmers in the state.

 

He hinted that the corporation will guard against giving loans to ‘farmers on paper’, saying this would ensure that the targeted farmers benefit from the gesture.

 

He explained that after the sensitization exercise, Application forms could be gotten at each Local Government Council at the office of the Director of Agriculture.

 

He added that the ACCOS Field Officers and the identified Banks in each domain will be involved in the process.

 

On the conditions for qualification, the Chairman said the form can only be collected individually free of charge.

 

He emphasized that the social media or internet is not a sales point, adding that no official of the Board or the Ministry of Agriculture will liaise with residents from the internet.

 

Akeugbagold said an applicant will need a Civil Servant, from Grade level 07 and above as guarantor, depending on the amount of loan requested.

 

He added: “We are moving round the 7 zones of the State to sensitize farmers on the need and where to access the #1b loan under the SAfER Sub-committee  of food security.

 

“The Forms would be out after the sensitization tour and they will be available for collection free of charge through the Directors of agric in their various councils, the severed banks and ACCOS adding that the form is not online.

 

“However, please note that group lending would not be entertained” the Board Chairman added.

 

In his remarks, the General Manager of the Board, Comrade Emmanuel Ogundiran revealed that farmers owing the Board, the State Government or any of the participating financial institutions would not have access, except if they are cleared by the Board or the participating institutions.

 

He hinted that the exercise would not be politicized in any form, saying that the Government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has equally trained farmers on climate resilience.

 

He added that the government has put plans in place to enhance peaceful co-existence between herders and farmers, through continuous meetings with the affected parties.

 

 

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Ministry of Information <oyominofinformation@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Nov 21, 2023, 4:04 PM
Subject: Oyo Govt. Lists Criteria For Disbursing N1Bn Loan To Farmers
To: <oyoministryofinformation@gmail.com>

Good afternoon dear colleagues. The Oyo State government has listed criteria for accessing the 1Bn naira loan to farmers. Pls, find the statement below. Thank you.

Press Release

 

Oyo Govt. Lists Criteria For Disbursing N1Bn Loan To Farmers

The Chairman, Oyo State Agricultural Credit Corporation of Oyo State, (ACCOS), Sheik Taofik Akeugbagold, has listed the criteria being used to disburse the One Billion Naira loan to farmers to ensure geographical spread.

Akeugbagold made the revelation during a sensitization tour to the 7 geopolitical zones in the State which ended today.

The muslim cleric also said to access the N1b single digit interest loan under the Sustainable Action for Economic Recovery (SAfER) sub-committee, an applicant must be a duly recognized farmer.

Speaking further on the criteria for the disbursement at Oke Ogun Zone 1, Iseyin area, Sheik Akeugbagold, revealed that the reason for the tour was to interact and identify genuine farmers in the state.

He hinted that the corporation will guard against giving loans to ‘farmers on paper’, saying this would ensure that the targeted farmers benefit from the gesture.

The Chairman explained that after the sensitization exercise, Application forms could be gotten at each Local Government Council at the office of the Director of Agriculture.

He added that the ACCOS Field Officers and the identified Banks in each domain will be involved in the process.

Speaking on the conditions for qualification, the Chairman said the form can only be collected individually free of charge.

He stressed that the social media or internet is not a sales point, adding that no official of the Board or the Ministry of Agriculture will liaise with residents from the internet.

Akeugbagold said an applicant will need a Civil Servant, from Grade level 07 and above as guarantor, depending on the amount of loan requested.

According to him, “we are moving round the 7 zones of the State to sensitize farmers on the need and where to access the #1b loan under the SAfER Sub-committe of food security.

“The Forms would be out after the sensitization tour and they will be available for collection free of charge through the Directors of agric in their various councils, the severed banks and ACCOS adding that the form is not online.

“However, please note that group lending would not be entertained” the Board Chairman stressed.

In his remarks, the General Manager of the Board, Comrade Emmanuel Ogundiran revealed that farmers owing the Board, the State Government or any of the participating financial institutions would not have access, except if they are cleared by the Board or the participating institutions.

He hinted that the exercise would not be politicized in any form, saying that the Government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has equally trained farmers on climate resilience.

He added that the government has put plans in place to enhance peaceful co-existence between herders and farmers, through continuous meetings with the affected parties.

In his address at Ibarapa Zone, the Commissioner 3, Civil Service Commission, Chief Ogunjinmi commended Governor Makinde for being a visionary leader whose efforts in the agricultural sector would forever be appreciated, urging the farmers to make judicious use of the loan when granted.

Oyo Unveils N1bn Loan Facility For Farmers

Mohammed Shosanya

The Oyo State Government has provided N1billion loan facility to the Oyo State Agricultural Credit corporation for farmers across the state.

The single digit interest loan facility would ensure more access at reasonable interest rates for farmers to expand their business and attract potential investors into the farming value chain.

Speaking during a media briefing recently, the Executive Chairman, Oyo State Agricultural Credit corporation, Alh. Taofeek Akeugbagold said that the present administration was committed to reforming the farming sector with notable programmes like the Sustainable Action for Economic Recovery (SAfER), among others.

He said this will ensure food security and cushion the effect of removal of fuel subsidy, by the federal government.

He said the loan facility will focus on the smally holder farmers, who bear the burden of feeding the teeming population.

“His Excellency, the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde has graciously approved the release of One (1) Billion Naira under the Sustainable Actions for Economic Recovery (SAFER) Programme which is to be disbursed to the Farmers in all the Thirty-three (33) Local Government Areas of the State so as to improve food security in the State”, he said.

“They account for about Ninety Per cent (90%) of the Farmers population and this responsible for about Ninety-Five Per cent (95%) of the aggregate food and fibre production in the State”, he said.

He said:”They are mostly residents of the State’s rural areas who are poorly served by basic public amenities.”

Akeugbagold said to access the loan, which will be disbursed and recouped by microfinance banks across the seven geopolitical zones in the state, each benefitting farmer must bring a guarantor, who is a civil servant on Grade level 7 and above.

He noted that the scheme would bring more stability to develop the agricultural sector and provide an enabling environment for the development of Oyo State farms and Agricultural Business.

Alh. Taofeek Akeugbagold said the loan process, which is apolitical, will be disbursed to farmers who are duly registered with the state Ministry of Agriculture.

In his remarks, the General Manager, Agric credit corporation, Mr. Emmanuel Ogundiran explained that, “The Oyo State government has recapitalized the corporation, we have received some funds and one of the mandates of the corporation is financing the agric value chain completely’’.

Ogundiran said;“The modality in giving out the loan is going to be exactly as enshrined in loan conditions of the Corporation. We have set rules for giving out loans and for this programme, we are making use of Microfinance Banks which are governed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, regulations and also regulated by the bank and financial institutions body’’.

He added, “The Corporation is funded by a system of revolving accounts which were built up over the years. Moreover, considering the realities of the present time accentuated by the removal of fuel subsidy, which has severally impoverished the peasantry, the loan support programme cannot have come at a better time.

He stated, “For ease of Administration, The Corporation has divided the entire State into Seven (7) Zones and intends to commence a sensitization campaign in all the aforementioned Zones very soon. The procedure for disbursement shall be unveiled at the subsequent Town-Hall meetings with the Farmers which will take place across the Seven (7) Zones which the State has been divided. ”

Mohammed Shosanya

The Oyo State Government implored farmers in the state to embrace new methods of farming, saying the development will boost food security in the state and the country.

The state commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Barrister Olasunkanmi Olaleye ,disclosed this while speaking to journalists in Ibadan, as part of activities lined up to celebrate 2023 World Food Day.

He noted that the only way to improve farm yield was for the farmers to embrace modern forms of farming, saying there were improved seeds that can bring quality yields more than the ancient practices.

He said the present government in the state under Engr. Oluseyi Makinde has invested in training and retraining of Agricultural Extension Officers and farmers in various capacities through collaborative efforts to enhance food security.

Speaking on various efforts of the government through his ministry on food security, the Commissioner hinted that about 285 farmers were trained on Emergency Training and Demonstration of Climate Resilient Practices in Maize, tomatoes, cassava, yam and cowpea to enhance increase yield.

He added that about 135 farmers were empowered with 1bag each of NPK fertilizer, adding that about 95 youths and women farmers were equally trained on processing, packaging, value addition and utilization of yam and cassava.

He added that 80 of the above mentioned were also trained on all season tomatoes – tomatoes that would bring yield all round the year.

Mr. Olaleye said an example of this was in Awe Rural Community Development Centre, which is now Oyo State-IITA Youth Agribusiness Incubation Park Centre, Awe.

According to the Commissioner, “we have equally distributed poultry feed to 2022 flood affected poultry farmers in collaboration with the Federal Government”.

“250 farmers were trained in collaboration with Elyson Gold Consultancy EGC on mushroom production, Animal feed quality control on the feed mill system has been introduced through feed analyzers to prevent sales of poor quality feeds to the farmers, most especially poultry farmers. Also, we have established a Pasture Growers Association to prevent future clashes between herders and farmers. This will help in full implementation of Grazing Control Law”.

On livestock, Barrister Olasunkanmi said “training is ongoing on artificial insemination on local breeds such as turkey, sheep, goats and cattle. He explained that this would improve the quality, weight of animals, making animal production more profitable within a short period for farmers. All these are modern ways of farming which the government has put in place to ensure food security in the state”.

He urged farmers to toe the path laid by the government on the need to enhance food security, saying part of the government’s responsibility is to create a conducive environment.

He said the introduction of modern ways of farming would enhance productivity, assuring that all these efforts of the government would be revealed in the next farm harvest season.